One of the most popular tourist sites in Vietnam, the almost 1,000 year old Temple of Literature in Hanoi is dedicated to Confucius and his teachings. This is considered to be one of Vietnam’s most important cultural and historical sites and the temple itself is even featured on one of the country’s banknotes. The temple’s grounds consist of many architectural wonders and include a stunning main gate and peaceful gardens as well as inviting courtyards with beautiful statues and sculptures. The temple grounds are where Vietnam’s first university, Quốc Tử Giám or National University was founded in 1076.
This lovely temple was modelled on Confucius’ birthplace in Shandong, China. Entering through the ornate, three tiered gate, visitors are lead to the inner courtyards of the beautiful sanctuary grounds where pathways lead through the gardens and along classical pavilions, halls and temples – the surrounding stone walls shutting out the chaotic outside world. The temple is made up of five courtyards with impressive gates leading to each. Enter the various temples and pagodas and view fascinating altars to Confucius and Chu Van An and visit the historic stone wall where the names of the most recognised scholars were carved.
The Temple of Literature is located about 2 kilometres directly west of Hoan Kiem Lake. The main entrance from where visitors enter through is on the south end of the grounds. The nearest bus stop is Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám which is located just outside the entrance. Bus number 38 serves this route. If walking from near the Opera House or Hoan Kiem Lake, proceed one block south and turn right on Hai Ba Trung, proceeding west where the road name becomes Nguyen Khuyen. Continue on this road until reaching the eastern wall of the temple. Make a left following the temple wall and turn right on the next street where the main gate will be visible.